satellite TV glossary & definitions – Part 2
A range of frequencies.
A device that splits a group of specified frequencies into two or more bands. Common types include UHF/VHF, Hi/Lo-band and FM separators. This device is essentially a set of filters.
A circuit or device that allows only a specified range of frequencies to pass from input to output.
The frequency range allocated to any communication circuit.
The raw audio and video signals prior to modulation and broadcasting. Most satellite headend equipment utilizes baseband inputs. More exactly, the composite unclamped, non-de-emphasized and unfiltered receiver output. This signal contains the complete set of FM modulated audio and data subcarriers
A measure used to describe the width of vision of a dish. Beamwidth is measured as degrees between the 3 dB half power points
A coding system very similar to Irdeto and used by the German provider Premiere World.
Bit Error Rate – BER:
The number of errors in a data stream usually expressed a ratio to the total number of bits in which an error occurs. For example, 1 in 10 7 or 10 -7
Bits per Second – BPS:
The number of bits transmitted each second
Blanking Pulse Level:
The reference level for video signals. The blanking pulses must be aligned at the input to the picture tube.
Pulses used to extinguish the scan illumination during horizontal and vertical retrace periods.
The process of lowering the entire band of frequencies in one step to some intermediate range to be processed inside a satellite receiver. Multiple block downconversion receivers are capable of independently selecting channels because each can process the entire block of signals.
Every now and then, some providers will send signals that will effect pirate cards only. The intention of these signals is to disable pirate cards. In order to make sure these unwanted signals don’t reach and disable your original card, you can use a blocker. There are 2 ways to block signals: software- and hardware blockers.
A bootloader is the first program, executed whenever you turn your receiver on. The bootloader will ensure that the receivers operating system is started. The operating system of a satellite receiver is usually called the firmware.
A group of services offered. The operator may also market a bouquet as a product such as `The Basic Bouquet.’
A device that processes a signal(s) spanning a relatively broad range of input frequencies
Before color temp:
– Geek box term. The color temperature at a given brightness level before grayscale calibration. Usually expressed in degrees Kelvin; ideally as close to 6,500K as possible.
Before grayscale variation:
– Geek box term. Before calibration, using the television’s best available presets, the average amount of variation from an ideal of 6,500K, measured over the entire range of the grayscale–typically 20 to 100 IRE in 10-IRE increments.
– Typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps); used to express the rate at which data is transmitted or processed. For digital television, including digital satellite and cable TV, DVD and HDTV, the higher the bit rate, the more data that is processed and, typically, the higher the picture quality. The DVD format allows up to 9.8Mbps, while HDTV requires 19.25Mbps for full- bandwidth transmission.
– The intensity of black in the television picture frequently referred to as brightness; adjusted to compensate for ambient room light. Black level is set with a TV’s brightness control using a PLUGE test pattern. Setting black level correctly is critical to overall picture quality, particularly the ability to see detail in dimly lit scenes of a movie. The term also refers to the ability of a display to produce an inky, deep black, which is often a problem in fixed-pixel displays.
– Copy-protection scheme for over-the-air DTV broadcasts that restricts recording of “flagged” shows. Its function applies only to digital outputs on DTV devices, specifically DTV receivers, TVs, and PC-based DTV tuner cards. Forthcoming flag-compliant products will refuse to digitally output/transfer any flagged show to a nonflagged legacy device or software.
Blu-ray – Format for next-generation recordable HD DVD that uses a shorter-wave blue laser and is supported by most major DVD manufacturers. A single-sided, single-layer disc can hold 25GB of data.
The 3.625 to 4.2 GHz band of frequencies at which some broadcast satellites operate.
A device that enables you to use 2 cards in 1 CAM simultaneously.
A card group is just another name for provider group.
A pure-frequency signal that is modulated to carry information. In the process of modulation, it is spread out over a wider band. The carrier frequency is the center frequency on any television channel.
Carrier-to-Noise Ratio – C/N:
The ratio of the received carrier power to the noise power in a given bandwidth expressed in decibels. The C/N is an indicator of how well an receive system will perform in a particular location, and is calculated from satellite power levels, dish gain and the system noise temperature.
Cassegrain Feed System:
A dish feed design that includes a primary reflector, the dish, and a secondary reflector which redirects microwaves via a waveguide to a low noise amplifier.
A smart card can be addressed and modified in 3 ways:
1. By using the hex serial, individual cards can be addressed
2. Through the card group number, all 256 cards in that group can be addressed simultaneously
3. Within a card group, a selection of individual cards can be addressed by means of a CB20 selection (max. 256 cards)
Charge-coupled device. In this device, a charge is stored on a capacitor which are etched onto a chip. A number of samples can be simultaneously stored. Used in MAC transmissions for temporarily storing video signals.
A segment of bandwidth used for one complete communication link.
Is used to select a channel.
The correct combination of key and channel ID will activate the key.
The impedance in ohms of a device in the path of a communication signal such as a cable, a connector or the input of an amplifier.
The hue and saturation of a colour. The chrominance signal is modulated onto a 4.43 MHz carrier in the PAL television system and a 3.58 MHz carrier in the NTSC television system.
The colour component of the composite baseband video signal assembled from the I and Q portions. The phase angle of the signal represents hue and amplitude represents colour saturation.
Electromagnetic waves whose electric field uniformly rotates along the signal path. Broadcasts used by Intelsat and other international satellites use circular, not horizontally or vertically polarized waves as are common in North American and European transmissions
A circuit that removes the dispersion waveform from the downlink signal.
Satellite receiver outputs that have the energy dispersal waveform removed. Unclamped outputs are often required as input to a decoder.
The circular orbital belt at 35 786 kilometres above the equator, named after the writer Arthur C. Clarke, in which satellites travel at the same speed as the earth’s rotation. Also called the geostationary orbit.
A cable for transmitting high-frequency electrical signals with low loss. It is composed of an internal conducting wire surrounded by an insulating dielectric which is further protected by a metal shield. The impedance of coax is a product of the radius of the central conductor, the radius of the shield and the dielectric constant of the insulation. In most satellite and SMATV systems, coax impedance is 75 ohms.
Colour Sync Burst:
A burst of 8 to 11 cycles in the 4.43361875 MHz (PAL) or 3.579545 MHz ( NTSC) colour subcarrier frequency. This waveform is located on the back porch of each horizontal blanking pulse during colour transmissions. It serves to synchronize the colour subcarrier’s oscillator with that of the transmitter in order to recreate the raw colour signals.
Common Interface (CI) is a PCMCIA slot in the satellite receiver in which CAM’scan be put. All multicrypt-receivers use Common Interfaces.
Common Scrambling Algorithm :
This is the coding algorithm as specified by DVB. The CSA was designed to make transmitted signals safe from hackers. For the provider, the real advantage is that CSA is universal to several types of CAM’s. This means that a provider who for instance broadcasts in both Seca and Viaccess, can send EMM’sand ECM’s with the transmission, but each CAM will only react to the commands which are meant for that CAM. All other commands are ignored.
Composite Baseband Signal:
The complete audio and video signal without a carrier wave. Satellite signals have audio baseband information ranging in frequency from zero to 3400 Hertz. NTSC video baseband is from zero to 4.2 MHz.
pal video baseband ranges from 0 to 5.5 MHz.
Composite Video Signal:
The complete video signal consisting of the chrominance and luminance information as well as all sync and blanking pulses.
A form of noise reduction using compression at the transmitting end and expansion at the receiver. A compressor is an amplifier that increases its gain for lower power signals. The effect is to boost these components into a form having a smaller dynamic range. A compressed signal has a higher average level, and therefore, less apparent loudness than an uncompressed signal, even though the peaks are no higher in level. An expander reverses the effect of the compressor to restore the original signal.
A unit that accepts uncompressed video, audio and data and then digitizes and compresses these signals
A collection of compressors, multiplexers and modulators that generate one multiplex signal
A coding system which is used a lot in the Scandinavian countries.
Conditional Access (CA) is a technology, used for coding and authorizing in DVB systems. The control mechanism is used to limit access by decoders to only the subscribed or free services on a multiplex.
A Conditional Access System (CAS) contains a few basic elements: SMSand SAS.
Conditional Access Module (CAM):
A Conditional Access Module (CAM) is the module into which the CA system is built in. CAM’s can be found as separate modules to put into the CIof your receiver, but they are also sometimes built fix into the receiver. In that case, they are called embedded CAM.
The CAM contains all software, needed to decode a certain scrambling system and also the necessary software to enable it to communicate with your smart card.
Conditional Access Table (CAT):
Conditional Access Table. A table that relates entitlement management message ( EMM) data streams to the conditional access ( CA) vendor(s) managing the decoder base.
A Control Word (CW) is a data package containing the coded key for the coding algorithm of your smart card.
Country code (COCO):
A 3 digit code, used to inform the CAM/receiver which group of channels should be validated.
You can regard Crd files as a kind of macro files. They contain command strings, used to update your smart card.
A form of interference caused by the modulation of one carrier affecting that of another signal. It can be caused by overloading an amplifier as well as by signal imbalances at the headend.
Term to describe signals of the opposite polarity to another being transmitted and received. Cross-polarization discrimination refers to the ability of a feed to detect one polarity and reject the signals having the opposite sense of polarity
Interference between adjacent channels often caused by cross modulation. Leakage can occur between two wires, PCB tracks or parallel cables.
Cryptedkey (Key) & Plainkey:
These are respectively a coded and an uncoded form of the same key.
To make things even more complicated than they already are, the cryptedkey is often simply referred to as a key.
The cryptedkey contains a combination of the date, that key was sent, the plainkey and the Plainmasterkey, all coded into 1 key. The cryptedkey is sent to the card on a regular basis. It validates the subscription of the user, therewith enabling the user to view certain channels. The cryptedkey ensures correct decoding of a validated channel. The plain key is the uncoded version of the cryptedkey.
A relative newcomer among the coding systems is Crypto Works. This system is developed by the Dutch-based Philips.
Customer Word Pointer:
The 4th byte in the PPUAstring is called the CWP (or Customer Word Pointer). It is used to address individual cards. The CWP is used only in MOSC cards.
– In televisions, the process of adjusting a picture to comply with standards used in DVD and HDTV production.
– Consumer Electronics Association, the principal industry association for companies that manufacture consumer electronics.
– Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, the industry group for installers of home-theatre, multizone audio, phone, security, lighting, and other home equipment.
– The technical name for the TV signal that carries the color information (red, green, and blue) needed to produce a color picture; often called chroma.
– Video artefact caused by the color signal lagging the brightness signal; appears as color smearing on the left edges of some onscreen objects; easiest to see with a test pattern that has a colored vertical stripe running down the middle of a white field.
– A component in all televisions translates colour-signal information from the source for display on the TV. ATSC and NTSC require two separate decoder matrices. Practically speaking, many color decoders accentuate red to compensate for a blue color temperature, a phenomenon known as red push.
– Sometimes called white balance and expressed in degrees Kelvin or just Kelvins, this is the color of grey at different levels from black to white. Since color information overlays the black-and-white information in a TV signal, color temperature affects the entire range of color. The National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) standard is 6,500K, but typically manufacturers ship their TVs with color temperatures ranging from about 7,000K to 12,000K, on the blue side of the color spectrum, to make sets as bright as possible to stand out on a brightly lit showroom sales floor. Some sets have a selectable color temperature.
– Component in all televisions that separates the chrominance and luminance from one another in composite-video connections. Good comb filtering enhances fine detail, cleans up image outlines, and eliminates most extraneous colors. Comb filters do not affect S-Video, component-video or digital-video connections.
– The elements that make up a video signal, consisting of luminance and two separate chrominance signals, expressed either as Y R-Y B-Y or Y Pb Pr.
– Analog video signal that includes vertical and horizontal synchronizing information. Since both luminance and chrominance signals are encoded together, only a single connection wire or jack is needed.
– Method of electronically reducing the number of bits required to store or transmit data. The method adopted for DTV is called MPEG-2. Four full-range channels of programming and data can be compressed into the same space required by a single analog channel.
– Difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks a display can show. The higher the contrast ratio, the greater the ability to show subtle color details and tolerate ambient room light (for example). Most contrast-ratio specs reported by manufacturers are inflated.
– Copy Protection Technical Working Group, a committee formed by consumer electronics and computer industry companies to recommend DVD and DTV copy-protection protocols.
CRT – cathode-ray tube, the original and still the most common display technology for televisions. Invented in 1897 by German physicist Karl Ferdinand Braun, the tube uses an electron beam to scan lines on the screen. It does not have an exact resolution as a fixed-pixel display does.